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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  July 30, 2011 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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>> bob shrum, thank you for joining us. we'll keep watching the fight. a very monumental week in washington, d.c. the vote finally coming through today. republicans passing it. the senate right away, and democrats pushing it back the other way. more to come. step as long the way as we watch the clock counting down. thank you for watching. i'm tom foreman, good night from new york. piers morgan starts right now. tonight, down to the wire. >> members of congress, make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet. keep the pressure on washington and we can get passed this. >> right and the left, the face-off. >> i stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the president of the united states. >> do the right thing. put the interest of the country ahead of the tea party extremists. >> speaker boehner should just give it up. he throws piece after piece
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after piece of red meat to the right-wing lion that seems to dominate his caucus. >> we're not going to divulge. we're going to solve this problem, one way or another. >> countdown to crisis. your financial future hanging in the balance. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening, an extraordinary day on capitol hill today. the house passes the boehner bill and the senate properly slaps it down. senate majority leader harry reid held a news conference speaking on tonight's vote. >> senator murray asked to be excused 'cause of a family situation. all good. her husband's here. tonight a bipartisan majority in the senate rejected boehner's short-term plan. clearly, we're seeing something we've seen a lot here in the senate. this time the country's attention is focused on it, a filibuster.
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a filibuster to -- from william ford on this legislation. a proposal that i put forward is a compromise. we changed it even more today. we would have changed it more, but as i indicated on the floor, we had no one to negotiate with. the republican leader said he wouldn't negotiate with me. [ cell phone rings ] i don't remember whose that is. not mine. [ laughter ] [ cell phone rings ] >> your pizza's ready. [ laughter ] >> it really is a worst possible time conducting a filibuster. they're forcing us to wait until tomorrow morning -- let's see, today's still friday, till sunday morning at 1:00 a.m. to have this vote. our economy hangs on the balance.
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and for the first time in the history of our country unless there is a compromise or they accept my bill, we're headed for economic disaster. it's time for republicans to step forward. there's been some movement today. as i indicated on the floor, i was having a meeting in my office this afternoon with some republicans and that fell through. as they were walking into a conference, three republican senators said they were interested in my bill, interested in compromise. they need to step forward. republicans are blocking their ability to compromise, refusing to negotiate with us. all they do is talk, enough to get done. the house will hold an up or down vote i'm told on my proposal. we should be allowed to do the same. that's all we're asking. it's time for us to be adult. it's time to come together and compromise. it's what the american people want and what we need to do.
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senator durbin? >> i'm sure you recall the speech that was given to the american people on monday night by speaker boehner. he talked about his bipartisan bill and the fact that he was going to pass it in the house of representatives. we waited for that on tuesday. again on wednesday, then on thursday, and finally today passed it, but it wasn't bipartisan. all republican vote, not a single democratic vote, 218 out of a 435-member house. when it came to the u.s. senate, it was dead on arrival on a bipartisan basis. a bipartisan majority of senators, 59, voted to table the boehner proposal. now we have a chance to reopen this conversation. and i can tell you there is a growing sentiment among senator on both sides of the aisle to sit down and reach a reasonable compromise and to save our
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economy from the disaster that await us we fail to extend this debt ceiling. what these senators on the republican side waiting for is a permission slip from senator mcconnell. he told them to hold back until the boehner bill came to the floor. that's history now. the american people want us to move forward. they want us to come up with a bipartisan approach that doesn't have us relive the scene that we've seen for the past week over and over and over again like the old "groundhog day" movie. we want to get this done so we can say the economy's going to move forward with the certainty that we're going to have a debt ceiling extension, and we're not going to jeopardize it with this problem of self-imposed political problems and wounds that can be avoided. it's a shame. we waited all day. this morning, senator reed went up to senator mcconnell and said, let's talk, let's work this out. nothing -- nothing all day long. not a word.
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later at the end of the day, senator mcconnell said, "i'm not going to negotiate with you." that's unfortunate. the american people deserve better. let me say if senator mcconnell would give the proposal, the one includes major elements by senator mcconnell, but no, they insist on filibuster. he said 60 votes had become routine, routine because filibusters had become routine on the republican side of the aisle. we're going to fight this filibuster, and i hope in the end some republicans will cross over and join us and break the stalemate and come up with a bipartisan agreement. >> chuck? >> well, thank you. you know, this morning at 10:00 a.m. on the floor of the senate, leader reed asked senator mcconnell to come negotiate.
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the door was open all day. nobody knocked. nobody walked in. and some said, well, speaker mcconnell wanted to wait until the house disposed of boehner. but after the boehner amendment was defeated, in a television conversation i was sitting there, senator mcconnell still refused to negotiate. we will not solve this problem by standing there and folding our arms and saying "i am not talking to anybody." and the nation's future is at risk. republican senator, i've talked to ten today, they want to come to an agreement. but until senator mcconnell gives them the green light, nothing is going to happen. and they get the vibes and perhaps the direct word. i don't know, from the republican leader -- don't do
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anything. we all know in the senate we can't pass anything with a bow to bipartisan agreement. we all know the senate is the only way out this mess. you've seen the huge difficulties in the house. their inability to even tie their own shoes. and so it's up to the senate. that means it's up to senator mcconnell to either negotiate himself or give permission to others to negotiate so we can finally come to a bipartisan agreement. the only game in town is the modified reed bill. it's a bill that has elements proposed by republicans including senator mcconnell. it's a bill proposed by democrats. but it meets the strictures that both parties have laid out on our side, that it must extend the debt ceiling beyond 2012. no short-term extension, too
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much royals the market. on their side, no revenues and as many cuts as increases in the debt ceiling. if they don't like it, even though it seems to have been a prescription drawn from their needs, what do they want as an alternative? they're very good at saying no. they're not very good at laying out a plan that can actually pass. and instead, what do they do? they just filibuster. they say you can't proceed to a bill and vote on it. they say that they are going to force us to delay and delay and delay until we get up to the deadline. the country's in crisis. this is not a time for politics as usual. i think we have shown that we are willing to give
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significantly in their direction. we're still waiting for speaker mcconnell. leader boehner -- sorry, we're still waiting for leader mcconnell and speaker boehner to move even a little bit in our direction. >> so that was harry reid explaining why the senate has rejected john boehner's bill which went through the house earlier. we'll get straight back to wolf blitzer. a couple of things struck me from what the democratic senator was saying. one was it's not politics as usual. the other is it's time to behave like adults which seemed ironic given it's exactly politics as usual and none are behaving much like adults. >> they don't have a lot of time. it's got to be done by tuesday. looks like they're going stretch it out until the bitter end. it's going to go saturday, sunday, the asian markets again will open sunday night east coast time here in the united states. monday in asia. already the u.s. markets will reopen monday morning. so this clock is ticking.
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as you know, for six days, the markets in the u.s. have gone down, wall street down the worst week in more than a year in the united states. that could be the tip of the iceberg if they don't get something resolved. i suspect that as the clock keeps on ticking, tomorrow and sunday, harry reid, mcconnell, they will forge some sort of compromise although it will be tough going until then. i suspect they'll send it back to the house. and then there will be a coalition of a lot of democrats and some moderate republicans. probably not a majority of the republicans. if it comes up for a vote, they'll pass it, and the cries i will be averted. having said that, there's no guarantee that that's going to happen. there are so many obstacles standing in the way. and the more the rhetoric heats up, the less likely a deal will be struck.
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it's going to be tough going. we're going to be working all weekend. i suspect the cots are going to be brought out of some warehouse. staffers on the hill will be keeping all nighters, keeping this movie. it's going to be tough. >> jessica, it is to most american people watching this, they're saying, what the hell you playing at? you're playing with our future, with the finances, with the nation's economy, we are a few days away from a potentially catastrophic default. yet we're hearing the detail from the press conference. i heard a report earlier and maybe you can confirm this. that speaker boehner and the president haven't exchanged a word in five days. >> reporter: that's right, not
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since monday, nor has -- mcconnel speak with vice president biden. and while the drama is playing out capitol hill, at the treasury department they're making decisions about which checks will be sent wednesday and at some point they don't? do military families get their check in we go into real decisions that affect everybody in their pocketbook. while political games are being played -- not games, call it what you want. principles to some people. but it's frustrating to regular americans and hard-to-understand. and meantime, there's this lack of negotiation going on here. i can confirm for you that today i am told that there is still no progress toward a compromise. we are at whatever hour it is east coast time. and they are no further along toward a deal than they were this morning, piers. >> extraordinary. i'm going to turn to representative jason chavitz. one of 22 republicans who voted no on the bill. he joins us now. let me ask you directly, do you
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really have your country's interests at heart? because you are rejecting anything to do with a bill by your own guy, and even that bill has been rejected by democrats. are you so way out of step with republican opinion, aren't you? >> well, it's nice chatting you with you. i was hoping our first conversation would be more pleasant -- >> honestly. left me respond to. that the reason that i'm animated is because i think the american public are absolutely sick and tired of the situation, every minute it goes by with political posturing, the american economic is getting worse and worse. by the time you stop squabbling, it might be too late anyway. >> i think the fact that i voted against my speaker's bill demonstrate that i'm more committed to my principles and my country than i am about going along to get along. i was the primary sponsor of cat, cap, and balance, a bill that passed with overwhelm
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support and five democrats. that bill passed -- with amazing numbers. goes over to the senate, it's so frustrating. i hope if you look at it objectively, without partisan glasses on, for the senate to just table it without a discussion, without a debate is offensive to the american people. we are about to be in a chris is this bill had this last week. they should have at least debated it. don't you think, piers, it's unreasonable? >> no, i think what they think is unreasonable ars of they -- when the democrats rejected a bill by speaker boehner, went through the house, but there are still 22 on the republican side who wouldn't even go along with that one. they're saying, what are you thinking about? what is the matter with you? you don't want to have a debt ceiling increase, you don't want any revenue, no taxation, how exactly do you expect the economy to recover?
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>> well, what you do is you look at the house republicans and twice, not once but twice we have passed bills that raise the debt ceiling. the senate hasn't done anything. they immediately table it. that's offensive. today the president was out there talking about cafe standards. so the house of republicans i think have a very good case, the best case to say we've been working. and you look at cut cap and balance. had five democrats. testimony had overwhelming support of the republicans. why not debate the discussion of that bill? i think that's fair. that's not unreasonable. >> well, because as we saw from santa rita earlier. he was mocking it openly. couldn't even remember the name of it. that situation is the realty -- >> right there, piers. he didn't even know the name of the bill that we passed in the house of representatives that would solve this crisis? that ought to be a flashing red light that we might need personnel changes in the senate. that's an embarrassment. >> well, either that or you need to have a republican party that at least has a united voice. at the moment the split in the
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republican party -- >> we were very -- >> there's complete intransigence in you and your 22 colleagues. >> look, i am willing to work with on a bipartisan basis. i have a history of that. i want to do what's right for the congress. to suggest that harry reid's billing that's coming up will only cut $3 billion in the first year, that's going to be tough for me to voted when we have this huge, massive debt and deficit problem in this country. that's going to be difficult. i love having this discussion, but how come the senate could not take cut cap and balance and even debate it for two minutes? they just voted to table it. then he can't even pronounce the name of the bill. and then you've got to wonder why the public isset up, probably on both sides of the aisle. but you could look you in the air and tell you i'm wolg to do the job, i was willing to give the president what he wanted, $2.4 trillion in that.
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we're bending over backwards to solve this problem. >> yeah. i think what the american public is seeing is not you bending over backwards but being deliberately obstructive. they want you to get on with it, gets with the party and make it deal happen -- >> we'll had nothing -- there's no plan from the president that's been sent to us, and there's been nothing to the senate presented to us. how -- i haven't rejected anything other than speaker boehner's bill. so i have not rejected something for the democrats. they haven't even presented us with something. >> congressman, thank you very much. now we'll bring in congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, who heads the democratic committee. you probably heard the conversation i had there. clearly one of the big problems, whichever side of the argument you're on, is the republican party is split, isn't it, between the likes of mr. chaffetz there who are completely resolutes to any concept to raising the debt ceiling or bringing taxation in for earning that way. then you have the others,
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speaker boehner's corner, who can't get their bill through the senate. where are we with this? >> well, there's clearly a -- an internal battle between on between the republican party now. you have a group of what i would say are extremist tea party republicans who basically have stronglehold over the matter. the details seems to be wagging the dog. in chaffetz who is a nice person, who i've had lovely conversations with on the house floor, really is clearly one of the obstructionists. he says they've bent over backwards? he believes his version of compromise is just the vote to raise the debt ceiling. that's -- at a minimum what we should be doing. that's not a component of compromise. a component of compromise that the american people clearly want
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us to do is to pass a bill that isn't so skewed on one side, that doesn't include things like taking the safety net out from under our senior citizens, increasing the costs of medicare, which is what cut cap and balance does. it had already been rejected once by the senate. >> let us -- >> and they passed it again. >> let's look at that for a moment. that's not issue for the republican party to sort out for each other. let's turn to -- not a single democrat voted for the boehner bill. where is the compromise from your side? i mean, again, i come back to the fact that the american public are sick and tired this. your president talks of compromise, where is that compromise? >> okay. piers, the bill that speaker boehner put out on the floor today increased cost of medicare, was trying to force an amendment to pass.
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an amendment to the constitution to pass before a second fight would be had over increasing the debt ceiling in another couple of months. what the republicans proposed in this boehner bill was to actually have this fight again in a couple of months and jeopardize our economy once and again. what democrats want to do is silt down with republicans. we're not that far apart on the cuts. we need to make sure we lift the boot off the neck of the economy. that we sit down together, figure out how to raise the debt ceiling and not jeopardize the economy. and make sure we pass some kind of balanced man that doesn't pile so much pain on the middle class and working families that they break under it. piers, i've had senior citizens calling my office trying who are living hand to mouth on social security and are worried that they are not going to be able to survive if -- if their social security payments aren't made. that is what this battle that is going on between the right and
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the extreme right in the republican party is causing. reasonable people need to sit down at the table. we as democrats have been at the compromise table for a long time. and we have a cold chair across from us. it's time for the republicans to come and warm it up and lift this risk that is on the economy now off so that we can move on and focus on creating jobs and continuing to get the economy turned around. that's the bottom line. >> okay. congresswoman, thank you. congresswoman, thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, rudy giuliani on the tweets from congress.
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freshman house republican alan west is one of those who voted yes for the boehner bill tonight and he joins me now. what's gone wrong today? has speaker boehner lost all his power? what's been happening? >> i don't think speaker boehner lost any of his power, and i'll commend the speaker going toe to toe with the president during this issue, especially earlier this week when he did a rebuttal speech after the president's speech, i believe monday night.
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he has truly stepped up to the plate. the speech tonight was a very strong speech and laid out his vision as far as the purpose of this bill and his way ahead. >> the american public are watching, thinking you guys wasted another whole day with posturing, political gains and in the end, nothing has happened. you ended up putting a bill in the house that was never going to get through the senate. everybody knew that. complete waste of time. meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the american economy, and every second that goes by, is more damage being done. who is taking responsibility for this? >> i'll tell you this, piers. you need to look over at the senate, you're talking about a group of individuals that under the leadership of harry reid have not passed a budget which is a constitutional responsibility, in 820 days. we have sent them over now two very viable and sensible plans to include the boehner plan, not 100% plan i would have liked to have seen. i made a compromise, and one to see us take care of our
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responsibilities. for me, about a 70%, 75% solution. the people we really should be looking at are the democrats. we continue to present viable alternatives and proposals. >> recent polls show 64% of the public are in favor of raising taxation to get us out of the incredible mess. are you? >> well, it's kind of interesting that you say 64% are willing to raise taxes when we know that 47% of wage earning households in america don't pay taxes. i would challenge you on the number. and i'd had several telephone town hall meetings, i've been here in washington, d.c. and never have we had less than 72% not in favor of their taxes being raised. let's not talk about taxes being raised when we see a traj i'll recovery. 1.3% gdp growth. we should be talking about how do we broaden our tax base as a
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means of raising tax revenues. then you can eliminate a lot of loopholes in subsidies, the corporate business tax rate is 34%, second highest in the world. >> finally, allen west, should we go to default here, an unprecedented catastrophe in america, who has to resign? >> well, i'm not looking for anyone to resign and having been a military officer, i don't look at failure. i don't think we're going to default and that's why i continue to support proposals that will preclude us from defaulting on our debt obligations and make sure we don't see interest rates increase. >> yeah, but let me put it another way. >> the onus is squarely on senate democrats. >> and they say the opposite. >> i haven't seen a piece of paper from them yet. >> everyone is listening to the same old political chatter and meanwhile, the damage to
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america's economy and the global economy is getting worse by the second. i don't think any of you guys seem to realize this. >> i think i do realize that, and i've been here seven months and i'm doing everything humanly possible to turn around a spending disease 30 years in the making. i wish i could wave a magic wand and make it all go away. i'm trying to do my best within the system of the united states federal government. >> allen west, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> and former and perhaps future presidential candidate rudy giuliani, a national default could damage republicans for years to come. an interesting perspective there. one of the big i guess thought processes on both sides is who loses most. if america goes to default. obviously, number one, the american people. but would it be a massive blow to the democrats or more of a blow to republicans? >> i think it will be a blow to both, probably roughly equal, depending on how you look at it.
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and i believe it would have to lay mostly at the feet of the president. chief executive of the united states. if you can't get a budget together and deal with debt as chief executive of the country, then you're a pretty weak leader. the reality is -- you have to put this in context. the problem isn't the crisis we're going through right now. the problem is the totally unprecedented, out of control spending we're doing. the president of the united states has come to congress asking them to increase the debt ceiling more than any president has ever asked, ever. i mean this is way beyond any president has ever asked. he wonders, why do they want to reduce spending? because he's asking for a bigger increase in debt than any president ever asked. >> but at the same time -- >> so this -- >> the real problem for our economy, which existed long before this crisis is we're spending incredibly, irresponsibly more money than we
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have and we have to put a stop to it, and that's why you see these people fighting the way they are fighting. they have different views of it. one side believes you should reduce spending. the other side believes you should increase taxes. and they truly believe it. and you have been calling it political posturing. i listen to both sides and i know them really well. these people really believe what they are saying. and they probably would be helped if they change their language a little. it wasn't particularly helpful for harry reid to say during his press conference that the only -- the only game in town was his bill. or for chuck shumer to reiterate the same thing. that doesn't lead to negotiations, they talk about -- >> but this is the problem, isn't it? this is the problem, isn't it? the american people i think just deserve better than they are getting right now. what they are seeing is the same old political posturing and games. >> of course they are. >> and i totally accept some of them may be principled. but many are behaving like politicians in the worst kind of caricature.
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and the real issue isn't the default coming, but the damage to the credit rating of america. >> absolutely. >> the damage to the global economy. countries all over the world watching, agasp, saying for god sake get a deal done. >> if they could let me put them in a room, i would settle it in a minute. >> how would do you that? >> if i had my way, cut, cap and balance would be law of the land, a balanced budget amendment, and we would cut the budget 1% or 2%. boehner isn't cutting spending, he's cutting the incredible increase in spending a little bit. here is what i would do because we're in a crisis. what i would do is say give the republicans the cuts they want and give the democrats the two years they want to get beyond the election, and then have some kind of trigger mechanism that means the cuts will be real, the reasons the republicans want to revisit the cuts in a year, they don't trust the president. they believe the president will
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not cut, because he's never done that and exaggerated the impact of this. they don't trust him. on the other hand, the democrats want to stretch this out beyond the election. you give the republicans the cuts, which boehner and reid agreed on actually a week ago and give democrats the two years they want and lets get the heck out of this and fight this out in the next election. >> final question, rudy. just a brief answer, please. are you aware of the rising sentiment around the world that this is looking fairly shameful for the american political process? >> look, we're a democracy. maybe the rest of the world should grow up and realize we're a democracy and we have people that have strongly different views. i disagree completely with the president of the united states, but i respect him. he believes in keynesian economics, in priming the pump, and i have a totally different view as do a lot of the republicans.
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we'll fight this out in election. what would really help, and this is where i fault the president. the chief executive is the one that has to be the adult in the room and bring everybody together. the president has to put a proposal on the table. i can't imagine not putting a proposal on the table when i was mayor of the new york city. i wouldn't wait for the city council to do it. that's absurd. i can't imagine reagan doing this, or clinton. >> rudy giuliani, as always, provocative. >> and they are going to settle it, believe me. settle it probably by tuesday, pretty much along the lines i just said. a cut, and an extension and a trigger. >> i hope you're right. i hope you're right, thanks a lot, rudy. >> bye-bye. the republican rank and file and the tea party. why john mccain calls them hobbits and worse than foolish. ♪
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the debt battle has been bruising, and it's not over yet. who will be the casualties? that's the question that carly fiorina and nira santandin will answer. let's start with you, carly. a pretty rough day on capitol hill and not much has happened. we tick down to default. what happened? >> three things going on that make for high drama and a lot of frustration, as you describe on your program. i would argue this is politics unusual, and let me tell you what i mean by that. first, a genuine, fill so offic debate going on between people
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who have genuine differences and passionately held differences about how to grow the economy and what the proper role of government is. that discussion has gotten attached to a debt ceiling debate. and i think it got attached to that, what has in the past been very routine, because of the normal processes of government, appropriations and budgeting, which is where these discussions normally happen, haven't occurred. the democratic senate hasn't passed a budget in almost three years and the appropriations process has ground to a halt. and the third think i would just say is -- >> let me just interrupt through. let me interrupt you. >> yeah, sure. >> this is all nice and proper and decent, but the reality is america is headed to a catastrophic default and the blame lies with the republicans of eight years of allowing the economy to tank and the president making slightly worse. >> i think there is plenty of blame to go around.
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i would argue with statics just a bit. president obama and democrats have spent more in the last two years than has been spent in any two year period. i'm quite confident, still, as i have been virtually every night i have talked on cnn that there are enough men and women of good will on both sides of the aisle, this will get done. but i would say one final thing. i think the other thing we're seeing. we're seeing a real philosophical debate which will continue through this year and through the election. we're seeing a problem, because the normal budgeting process has ground to a halt. the other thing we're seeing is an experience gap. you have freshmen republicans who are having to learn in real time that sometimes you have to decide, wow, i've won a major victory here. i need to take my progress and move on, but you also have an experience gap from president obama, who has proven himself,
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in my opinion, to be capable of the leadership necessary to get this done. he's never put a plan on the table and you're hearing from a lot of democrats on the hill, that president obama can't get us out of this mess. lack of experience is a problem, for sure. >> let me go to nira and put that to her. today, i thought jack welch, the business tycoon, raised an interesting point. >> he said why does any form of balanced budget make democrats go crazy? every family works to get in this position every day. >> i think there are many republicans who oppose a balanced budget. the one thing we should be aware of there has been one bipartisan vote so far this week, and that bipartisan vote is a rejection of the boehner plan by the senate. we had republicans crossing lines, we had senator kirk, senator graham, conservative senators as well crossing lines with democrats to reject that. so that incorporated an extreme
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form of a balanced budget amendment. and it was a ridiculous idea. the idea that we would have a majority vote to pass a balanced budget amendment down the road when they couldn't even garner two-thirds vote now. extreme gamesmanship where these votes are upperly meaningless. i believe that senate republicans are frustrated and that's why you saw a number of senate republicans join with democrats to vote against the boehner bill. >> the most frustrated people of any questions? no. you know... ♪ we're not magicians ♪ we can't read your mind ♪ ♪ read your mind ♪ we need your questions ♪ each and every kind ♪ every kind ♪ will this react with my other medicine? ♪
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♪ hey, what are all these tests even for? ♪ ♪ questions are the answer ♪ yeah ♪ oh ♪ sing polly wolly doodle all the day ♪ ♪ hah
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>> right now could make a very serious problem much worse. >> clearly, what is going on there is the usual negotiating, although the stakes are much higher than usual. do you think the politicians really understand that their common little practice of
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tit-for-tat arguing for days on end, the more damage to the economy they are doing any way. forget the default next week. >> you are exactly right. the conference is being undermined in the u.s. economy in usa inc. the borrowing costs will go up. every american will be affected by this because politicians are much more concerned today about their political careers and getting reelected and scoring political points. we have a serious deficit situation and politicians are bickering to use the phrase while rome is burning. >> how bad could it be next week? let's talk dooms day here. america goes into its first ever default. what is the reality of that moment? >> the reality would be as bad as the peak of the crisis in 2008 where markets were
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plummeting and stock markets were plummeting. the banks would be in trouble. corporations around the country may not be able to access credit to make their payroll. this is a serious situation. if you look at lehman brothers, when it failed, it contributed to the crisis back in '08. lehman brothers with a $600 billion company. the u.s. treasury market is $14 trillion. more than 20 times bigger. if we are playing a game of russian roulette with the u.s. treasury, the risk is much worse than what we faced with lehman brothers. it is serious. a default is unthinkable. the downgrade would be damaging to the economy. as you know, piers, the american people are suffering with 9.2% unemployment. if it goes up from here, it will be harder on the families and communities. >> and also, i noticed today that the chinese are getting
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increasingly angry with the behavior in washington. they own a lot of american debt. they are making a point this is having a huge impact on the global economy. the longer this impasse goes on, the more damage to the world's finances. >> that is exactly right. that is because for decaddecadee dollar has been the global economy. the risk free bonds are the standard. so now we are playing a game of russian roulette jeopardizing the gold standard. it will not effect america, but effect every country around the world. once confidence in the united states is lost, it may take a long time for us to regain it. the stakes are very high. i'm afraid that people in congress and washington don't understand the risks they are playing with today. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, piers.
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>> we will end on a happy note here. last night, working into the small wee hours, we finally found a man who is actually doing well out of his flat in washington. he is papa john's franchise director for the store that delivered pizzas to speaker boehner's office. jeff williams, you seem to be the only guy in america who is smiling. business is booming? >> absolutely. business is doing just well. just well. we have been shipping tons of pizzas up to the hill. one thing is for certain, congress may not know how to go one way or the other on this bill, but frankly, they know where to eat pizza. papa john's better ingredient.
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better pizza. >> let's be serious for a moment. what is your personal view as the official pizza supplier to the politicians try and resolve the crisis. what do you think the answer is? >> you know, we are a pizza company. frankly, we don't know how to resolve the crisis. we know how to make a better pizza. if you are a democrat or republican, the one thing you can agree on is the bipartisan pizza. we put equal toppings on for both sides. >> a bipartisan operation, huh? >> yes, sir. absolutely. >> how many pizzas did you actually deliver last night? >> last night was relatively 20 pizzas up to representative boehner. you know, enough to keep folks moving. you know, our founder and ceo has said, if it takes more
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pizzas to get those people moving on the hill, we will be happy to provide what is needed. whether it is 50 pizzas or 100. we are happy to pass that message along to president obama. >> what kind of pizza does speaker boehner like? is he on the spicy side of life? >> that is a good question. they ordered a good variety. we don't know what went to boehner himself. we would like to think that he is enjoying some of the top-quality inn gre top-quality inngreidents. >> did they pay with cash or credit? >> credit. >> there is some credit left in the country? >> yes, sir. big part of our business. >> jeff, we are all thrilled for you that you are doing well. the irony is not lost that the
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capitol hill pizza guy is doing a roaring business. thank you for joining me. >> my pleasure. >> i will have a spicy pepperoni when you get a sec. we'll be right back. [ding] announcer: clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soapy water. one in 6 americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. keep your family safer. check your steps at
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